The Disappearing Line Between the Front and Back of the House
When you walk into a restaurant, you typically don’t see the kitchen. This is because restaurants have always made a very clear line between the front of the house and the back of the house. Kitchens were considered dirty, and people didn’t want to see their food being made. There is a change taking place within the food world, and the line between the front and the back of the house is quickly fading. More new restaurants are going with an open kitchen design.
There are a number of cooking shows that have led people to become more aware of what goes on in the kitchen. Shows like Kitchen Nightmares show what happens when restaurant owners don’t follow the rules. There’s contamination and filth. While people don’t want to see that, they also don’t want to eat in a restaurant like that. If you’re hiding the kitchen, people may assume the worst.
There are more foodies in the world. People have a passion for eating and trying new things. They want to see the cooks preparing their dishes. This is because they have seen shows like Top Chef, Chopped, and others where the cooks take pride in their food. People want to see the equipment they have seen celebrity chefs use. This segment of the dining crowd prefers an open kitchen.
When you create your dining room, you may want to think about the design and how to keep your guests entertained. By creating a glass wall to the kitchen, diners will be able to see what’s going on. This is a good marketing strategy because people don’t have to wonder whether you are following the rules. Your restaurant wouldn’t have an open kitchen unless it was proud of its kitchen and willing to watch its chefs work.
Glass walls and even no walls at all are being used. Many restaurants are beginning to create glass windows with tables right up against the glass. This allows diners to get a front row seat to the action that goes on in the kitchen. You can purchase reclaimed wooden tables and chairs to place in front of the kitchen windows so people can have a show while they wait for the food.
You may find that people are less likely to complain about food taking so long when they can see what is going on. Many will lose sight of how long they have been waiting while others will appreciate that the food takes some time to cook when they see all of the cooks making the food step-by-step.
When you visit restaurants, look for the kitchen. You may be able to see it the moment you step inside the dining room – and it is something you may want to consider in your own restaurant. Big chains such as Macaroni Grill have been using this method for years. People feel more comfortable eating at a restaurant where there is no line between the kitchen and the dining room.
While not everyone wants to watch their food being cooked, giving them the option with an open kitchen can make a big difference in their comfort level and whether they will return.